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Sidney Altman

Altman, Sidney, 1939–, Canadian-American molecular biologist, b. Montreal, Ph.D., Univ. of Colorado, 1967. A professor at Yale Univ. since 1971, he discovered that RNA could function as enzymes; it was previously thought that enzymatic activity was only possible in protein molecules. His discovery has a potential use in fighting viral infections. For this work, Altman shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics with Thomas Cech, who independently made the same discovery.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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